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Antichrist

Posted: Tue, 6th Oct 2009, 10:42pm

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Xcession

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Wondering who's seen it and what anyone thinks.

I'm still struggling to wrap my mind around it, myself. Its had a lot of negative press, mostly focusing on the latent misogynistic undercurrent, the graphic sex and the mutilation, but i didn't find myself focusing on those elements enough to become self-aware during the viewing. Those scene were certainly unavoidable and the first graphic shot was definitely unexpected, but as the entire epilogue treatment set the tone for the rest of the film, it seemed appropriate even if it was rather blunt.

As an inadvertent experiment in mixing porn, art-house and horror, I'd say it actually did quite a good job. The plot itself was compelling, the cinematography beautiful, the acting superb, the horror horrifying and the sex sexy (although decreasingly so by design as the film progressed).

European horrors are often similar to Japanese ones: there's never a rational, explainable reason for the horror, it just happens to the victim. People get mutilated or murdered for little or no reason that they could avoid and therein lies the real horror - fear of the random and unpredictable. The common take from Hollywood's perspective is that all nastiness inflicted on an individual is in some way deserved, often inflicted upon themselves indirectly or targeted specifically, so is therefore avoidable in every day life and less of a real-life concern to the audience.

My only misgiving with Antichrist is born of confusion. I can't decide whether, based on my knowledge of the genres or the director's previous work ('Idioterne'), whether the horror and the gore and the porn was necessary. This annoys me. One the one hand it would be easy to chalk up the controversial content to the Euro/Jap school of "it could happen to anyone" but on the other it was so strong I still question whether it was really needed.

I'd love to praise this film 100% but I can't ignore the niggling doubt that I either a) missed a much deeper meaning, deliberately hidden in all the salacious content or b) there is no meaning beyond the obvious, suggesting that the salacious content was just for the sake of shock, which would be a real shame as it has caused some unwarranted press and not given this film the mainstream exposure it deserves.

Last edited Tue, 6th Oct 2009, 10:58pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Tue, 6th Oct 2009, 10:51pm

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ben3308

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I remember reading somewhere that the sexual mutilation was 100% for experimental purpose of shock. As in, "well, we'll do it to see how much it shocks people."

I dunno if you'd call that any meaning, though. crazy
Posted: Tue, 6th Oct 2009, 10:56pm

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Xcession

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It was certainly wince-inducing. The former of the two scenes had some purpose in the story, but the latter served little purpose beyond mood re-enforcement. Half meaning, half not, I guess.
Posted: Tue, 6th Oct 2009, 11:10pm

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ben3308

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I read a dissertation of the film that described the scenes in detail and compared and contrasted it with the director's goals overall. This was just released a few days ago, it's somewhere online.
Posted: Wed, 7th Oct 2009, 5:26pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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I don't think Xcession was canvassing opinion from people who's friends mums uncles girlfriend wrote a dissertation on Antichrist. Just saying.

Anyway. I'm not really sure why I enjoyed AntiChrist so much. Perhaps it's because of the mix of astoundingly beautiful imagery and genuinely scary atmosphere the film possesses. I was transfixed throughout and occasionally, repulsed.

Though that said - the violence whilst indeed horrifying was neither glorified or elaborated upon, there is no comparison that could be drawn by any intelligent person between AntiChrist and torture porn films like Hostel.

So to re-iterate. Brilliant Imagery, Genuinely Spooky Atmosphere but perhaps slightly too deep (or not, as Dave mentioned) for me to confidently say it's genius. I'd recommend everyone who is both interested in film and isn't allergic to around one second of slow motion hardcore pornography to check it out.

-Matt
Posted: Wed, 7th Oct 2009, 6:08pm

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Atom

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Really?

Almost every critic I've read from about it claims it to be senseless, vile, and horrifically unmerited to watch in almost every way; with no real narrative telling. And, on top of that, most find it and call it unnecessarily graphic, gory, pornographic, depraved, and inhumane past the point of directorial indulgence or purpose.

I mean, seriously.
Posted: Wed, 7th Oct 2009, 6:54pm

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Xcession

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Seriously, I enjoyed it, on balance.

I've seen an equal number of positive and negative reviews for it.

Of those i've read, the positive reviews all accept that the content is beyond reason in places, but is still only a portion of a decent film. The negative reviews are epitomized by one reviewer for a shamelessly right-wing paper in the UK, who reviewed it having never watched the film, claiming that they didn't need to! Unfortunately the sensationalist vitriol of the nay-sayers has far more volume than anyone else.

Sure, it is vile, graphic, gory, pornographic, depraved and inhuman, but in more palatable quantities none of those factors would usually be enough to justify basing entire reviews solely on those points. There are many endearing qualities too. For example Dafoe and Gainsbourg are brilliant in it (Gainsbourg won awards for it in fact) and as HH says, the imagery was genuinely beautiful.

Have you seen it, Atom?
Posted: Wed, 7th Oct 2009, 7:35pm

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Atom

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No, and I don't really intend to based on what I've read; as it seems to be far too much for me and I've got other movies on my list to see first.

Which isn't to say I'm one to go out and claim 'I don't need to see it to condemn it!' like others, but if ever there were material for this claim- Antichrist looks like it to me. Maybe it isn't, maybe it is- but based on what my curiosity has dug into the movie, and now what I know about it, I don't care to see it.

This all, of course, also discounting what look to me (from the trailers) to be sub-par technicals in amateur-looking HDcam. (Although that's entirely a matter of taste.)
Posted: Wed, 7th Oct 2009, 11:41pm

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Aculag

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Atom wrote:

Almost every critic I've read from about it claims it to be senseless, vile, and horrifically unmerited to watch in almost every way; with no real narrative telling. And, on top of that, most find it and call it unnecessarily graphic, gory, pornographic, depraved, and inhumane past the point of directorial indulgence or purpose.
It's a Lars Von Trier film, though. It exists to elicit discussion, and that's why it has all the brutality.

I haven't seen it either, but it will be showing at my local arthouse theater soon. I'll probably check it out, because if anything, his films are always worth discussing afterward. I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 9:21am

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pdrg

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I have an office over an arthouse cinema, I can drop in to watch whatever I want, whenever I want. Scandanavia has brought us some interesting directors (Vinterberg, Moodysson, 'von' Trier, etc), and having enjoyed Trier taking a chance with Dogville and Manderlay crossing over between a stage play and film, and it working, I was going to see Antichrist - in fact I was looking forward to it.

But being in a cinema, you get to see the audience reactions to films, and AC had quite a few walk-outs, and certainly nobody came out whoop-whooping and punching the air afterwards (a blessing!), but looked kinda introspective and a little stunned. With how I was feeling at the time, it wasn't the film I needed to see. I'm one of the few who appreciated 'Irreversible' - again lots of complaints about the violence in that one, but it worked to swing our sympathies around, and worked. Strangely, people don't seem to object to Hollywood ultra-violent movies where hundreds of people get shot and their lives, homes etc blown up, yet more intimate violence is considered shocking.

Trier likes to experiment with the form which either makes him a visionary or a pretentious nob, and in reality probably a bit of both (the 'von' is an affectation he chose at college, so pretentious is probably a fair comment). I wonder if he was just showing off again? Quite likely there is no hidden depth to speak of, he's only really worked at a fairly surface level before.

I actually prefer films by some of his contemporaries, 'Lilja 4-Ever' (Moodysson) is wonderful and troubling, 'Festen' (Vinterburg) whilst trying out techniques that made it Dogme 1, actually had a strong compelling story and great acting too - it had a reason to exist besides being a Dogme film. They're both worth a watch if you like strong storytelling without explosions and Whoop whoop punchy fists.
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 1:15pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Rating: +2

Atom wrote:

Really?

Almost every critic I've read from about it claims it to be senseless, vile, and horrifically unmerited to watch in almost every way; with no real narrative telling. And, on top of that, most find it and call it unnecessarily graphic, gory, pornographic, depraved, and inhumane past the point of directorial indulgence or purpose.

I mean, seriously.
I'll re-iterate. No one is interested in what you've read about a film. This is an open discussion for people who have actually watched it. People whose opinions have worth compared to those who let other people make up their minds for them.

If I paid serious attention to the critics I'd probably have missed out on Speed Racer. A film I sincerely loved. And whilst Speed Racer wasn't for a lot of people - I'd advise you not to limit your film going (or any) experiences to popular consensus. Just a thought.

I'm posting again mainly to object Xcession saying that AntiChrist is inhuman - I felt that in several sections, AntiChrist is one of the more human films I've seen. Violence is depicted as Violence is (A similar compliment can be granted to Irreversible) which is as you might figure - pretty nasty.

Audience reactions are interesting things, really. One piece of cinematic violence that has always stuck with me, over the likes of Hostel and Irreversible was the scene in Indiana Jones and the last crusade where Indy is fighting atop a tank and knocks an enemy soldier onto the top of the tank tracks, where upon he is dragged down to be crushed by the tank.

Funny how that works, really.

When I say that I enjoyed AntiChrist - maybe it is my uneducated side talking. I do not make a habit of watching Art House style films, though as of seeing AntiChrist I will pursue others. Starting with Lilja 4-Ever (thanks pdrg).

-Matt
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 2:39pm

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Sollthar

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Rating: +1

[!spoilers!]


I saw the film 2 weeks ago and I have to say, it's one of the most "difficult" times I ever had watching a film. Not because the film is bad, but because it's tough to digest. Von Trier does less tell a story then capture a feeling with Antichrist. A feeling of hopelessness, emptyness, fear, trauma and despair. And the film captures that with fantastic images and brilliant acting from two actors who give literally everything they have.

It's a film that works not for telling an intelligent story, but for offering an experience. An experience you're either willing to share, or not. An unpleasant experience.

I personally liked a lot of it. It's not the kind of film you walk out of and say "I had a good time watching that" because if you let yourself get grabbed by that feeling, you certainly won't have a good time. You'll leave it shocked, empty and feeling unease. I liked that. There's hardly any films anymore that do that.

At the same time, I'm a bit put off by the fact that obviously, a film today NEEDS to show explicit penetration in the first 40 seconds and needs to explicitly show someone cutting of a part of her clitoris with a pair of scissors in order to get a real emotional reaction from audience.
But then again, with todays horror fare, 80s horror movies remakes, saw part 31 and other films showing horrific violence as something audiences cheer and applaud to (Yes District 9, I'm looking at you), I guess it's what's left to get the reaction violence SHOULD get: Shock, despair und an unpleasant feeling instead of laughter, amused cheering or nothing at all. Personally, I think the few pornographic shots in the film were there to enforce that.

It's not a film to watch again for me. But I "liked" the experience. It certainly left an impression.

Plus I had a very amusing moment, where a guy in the backrow fell asleep during the film (it is long and moves slowly, so perfectly understandable that you can fall asleep when you shield yourself off the emotions it carries) and started snoring right within a dramatic moment, where the whole audience seemed to laugh; releaved, amused.


So yes, Antichrist shows inhumanity or humanity in a rather human way. Raw, unfiltered and brutal. If you take it as that, you'll have a terrible time. If that's what you're after, Antichrist ist the film for you.
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 2:48pm

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Simon K Jones

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

I'll re-iterate. No one is interested in what you've read about a film. This is an open discussion for people who have actually watched it. People whose opinions have worth compared to those who let other people make up their minds for them.
Well said! While you can use critics and other people's opinions to influence your buying decisions, because the cinema does cost a crapload of money these days (which, for the record, is what I took Atom to primarily be talking about), you shouldn't let them influence your opinion. That is the domain of the weak minded.

What's interesting is that this doesn't occur so much with genuinely bad films, only with films that dare to explore territory that you perhaps disagree with (religiously/philosophically/politically/whatever). I guess it comes down to whether you enjoy having your viewpoints challenged or whether it scares and intimidates you - personally I love it. But, then, I'm not a Daily Mail-reading, reactionary sheep.

Haven't seen Antichrist and probably won't in the cinema for the cost and time reasons, but I look forward to seeing it at some point. The comments here have me intrigued enough to check it out.

Last edited Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 3:29pm; edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 3:09pm

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Xcession

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Its not so much about "disagreement", but rather content that no one wants to thinks about. Religion, politics and philosophy are all comparatively commonplace, so most people will have an opinion on all of them, without realising. When they see something that challenges that belief, they will instantly compare their own opinions and choose to "disagree", but can sleep happily at night, safe in the knowledge that their beliefs are still in tact.

What von Trier's work has a habit of doing, is raising subject matter people simply don't want to think about, even less so to discuss. Things that no one has a viewpoint on because its so obscure or profane that to have any opinion might itself be incriminating. Loss of a child, female genital mutilation, paedophilia, masturbation, being a "spastic" etc. Watching a Trier film is like everyone you know spending a day saying out loud every dark thought that crosses their mind, however briefly, even the stuff everyone instantly knows is wrong.

Thats the reason Antichrist etc received the welcome it did - it raises thoughts no one wants to have, it deeply unsettles people and jolts them out of the convenient day-to-day reality they occupy. I for one welcome the opportunity to have my reality jogged from time to time, to gain a bit of perspective, but like Sollthar I doubt I'd choose to watch this film again.
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 3:32pm

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Simon K Jones

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Xcession wrote:

What von Trier's work has a habit of doing, is raising subject matter people simply don't want to think about, even less so to discuss. Things that no one has a viewpoint on because its so obscure or profane that to have any opinion might itself be incriminating. Loss of a child, female genital mutilation, paedophilia, masturbation, being a "spastic" etc. Watching a Trier film is like everyone you know spending a day saying out loud every dark thought that crosses their mind, however briefly, even the stuff everyone instantly knows is wrong.
True, but unfortunately not everyone is in your (and my) privileged positions.

For a very large number of people in the world, those issues are extremely relevant, prevalent and needing examination (and condemnation where appropriate).

A lot of these are probably issues that people should think about more than they do.
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 3:48pm

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Xcession

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Perhaps i haven't made myself clear. No one could debate whether female genital mutation is ok: even someone who has never thought about it before would easily conclude it is not.

The questions you find yourself asking after Trier's films include "How can achieve a level of sexual and mental depravity that would cause me to cut my genitals? Am I missing out?". "Could I get away with abusing my child throughout his life if he wasn't aware of it?". "What does crushing someone's windpipe feel like?", "I wonder what kind of things I could get away with if I pretended to be mentally handicapped for a week? Are some of those that are handicapped actually just acting for attention?".

These aren't questions that need examination. These aren't relevant issues to anyone. You feel ashamed for them every crossing your mind. Its not that the answers are elusive, its that even thinking of the question is already having gone too far.

I think thats the power of Trier et al. Everyone has dark thoughts from time to time, but this genre of film making forces them to the surface. I guess in analysis its forcing all the animalistic, selfish, brutal thoughts to the forefront.
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 4:02pm

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Simon K Jones

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Xcession wrote:

Perhaps i haven't made myself clear. No one could debate whether female genital mutation is ok: even someone who has never thought about it before would easily conclude it is not.

*snip*

These aren't questions that need examination. These aren't relevant issues to anyone. You feel ashamed for them every crossing your mind. Its not that the answers are elusive, its that even thinking of the question is already having gone too far.
Unfortunately there's large swathes of the world where that isn't the case, and genital mutilation (for example) is still an accepted and practised cultural thing. In those areas the people would quite happily argue with you about it, saying that it's good for someone, helps to ward off disease and infidelity etc etc.

It's all bullcrap, of course, but the debate is definitely - unfortunately - still open. Perhaps not in Oxford, but elsewhere. wink

I'm wondering (as I haven't seen it yet) whether Von Trier aims to raise topics that are still relevant but which perhaps aren't thought about by comfortable, middle class white people anymore.
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 4:15pm

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Xcession

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I of course mean that all those questions i raise ought not to be relevant in civilised society. I think it unlikely that Trier's films would even be shown in a society that is yet to achieve popular consensus on whether crushing someone's testicles then making them climax is normal!

The point is its only awkward to people for whome the answers are already obvious. Murder = wrong, Handicapped = real etc. The fact is that even in middle class society, people still have inappropriate thoughts. What these films seem to force us to confront, is the fact that we're still all privately and at one point or another still perverted, bigoted, murdering, narcissists and that those dark thoughts can never be truly eradicated.

It is the self-discovery that you can still have a completely depraved thought, when you thought you were better than that, even if you then feel bad about it, which makes these films interesting. They're a psychological introspective journey.

Last edited Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 5:49pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 5:37pm

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ben3308

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

This is an open discussion for people who have actually watched it. People whose opinions have worth compared to those who let other people make up their minds for them.
Something I want to point out here, especially considering what we're talking about - I don't think anyone who has preemptive assumptions about a film is letting other people 'make up their minds for them', as pretentious and indulgent as that sounds, rather, I think they're forming an opinion without seeing a film based on a cache of multiple opinions and descriptions of the events that unfold in the course of the film itself. Is that a 100% fair way to judge the film? Probably not. But it doesn't mean that opinion is of any less worth.

If what we're (or as you might say it, you, considering I personally have yet to see the film, and therefore am not allowed to say anything) talking about here, in this discussion, is the events that happen in the film and what they mean in terms of a message or in describing humanity, et al; then why can't we discuss what happens in the film? If you know what happens without seeing it, is that discussion that invalid? (I'm not talking here, about every movie, just this one where - from what you all have said - the things that happen in it are without reason and just that: things that happen)

So my question here is this, and then I'll let it go: is the storytelling and filmmaking of AntiChrist that excellent, that cathartic, that it makes the film transcend being about simple graphic sex, horror and mutilation?

Really, I'm someone who, notably, gives every film a chance, just wondering if it's worth the time to find a ride and money to see the film, or if it just plainly shows all the events I already know happen. From what you all have gathered, do the images of the film stir a personal introspection upon viewing, or do they reach a conclusion on their own, and present it to the viewer? And are either of these outcomes, if they even occur, worth the price of admission?
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 8:06pm

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pdrg

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Tarn wrote:

Unfortunately there's large swathes of the world where that isn't the case, and genital mutilation (for example) is still an accepted and practised cultural thing.
Not so far from home...
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 8:25pm

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ben3308

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NSFW, by the way. ^^^^^^^^^
Posted: Thu, 8th Oct 2009, 8:36pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Ben, I'd think that providing an opinion on the merits of a film you have yet to see does somewhat devalue the worth of that opinion. Especially Given that this thread is directed at people who have seen the film and our reactions to it, rather than our idle musings on critical reception which is not so much an opinion as it is an opinion of opinions. Something verbosity cannot make sound educated.

This is nothing personal, and I'll be interested to hear your view if you get round to seeing the film. In the meantime, shhhh. Don't ruin the experience by seeing spoilers and I don't really want to delete posts.

Now, back to business.

Whilst at work I read Sollthars post and have got to say that he covered everything I didn't posses the energy/intellect to express. Thanks for hitting the nail on the head so accurately Marco. Incidentally, I saw AntiChrist on a first date with someone - an interesting film to undergo as a potential couple given that intimacy, both the dedication to and betrayal of, are covered to the extremes. It was definitely an experience and not one either of us enjoyed, but are somehow pleased it was something we experienced in retrospect. Like perhaps an awful medical procedure which provided intellectual insight into something we would otherwise never consider.

Anyway...

I am not entirely sure male circumcision is in the same class as female circumcision. Given the separation of benefits/negatives. Though it's an interesting point given that it is indeed in some cases a religious ritual.

-Matt
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 12:33am

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pdrg

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If male circumcision isn't genital mutilation, it's hard to see what is? It's done to kids who are not sexually active or disease carriers, and done for religious/superstitious reasons. I just wanted to point out that whilst it's tempting to think of female circumcision as wrong/bizarre/foreign as it happens hundreds of miles away, we think of the Judeistic ritual circumcision as somehow different because it is closer to home and more familiar. I can't see why it should be treated differently, from a purely logical/objective position.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 5:38am

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Bryce007

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Absolutely not watching this. I mean, seriously. THIS movie? I've got a huge list of films to watch and this one isn't even close to going on it
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:25am

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Atom

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Rating: -2

Finally a sensible person.

And yes, I am the ignorant American. On this movie at least. It looks godawful all other things aside.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:31am

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Sollthar

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Again, especially for atom: The +1 button is not for "agreeing" with a post.

As much as you love it when people agree with you and as much as it's important to you to have people who agree with you, that's not of a "general importance" for the community.

And no, this is no invitation for a debate over this, so don't bother. Just a reminder.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:37am

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Atom

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Please.

rolleyes
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:41am

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Xcession

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Interested to know what you're gauging the "looks" on. Surely it shouldn't matter one iota what camera it was shot on, if the film itself is good?
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:46am

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Atom

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No, it entirely matters; and that's exactly the point. Not necessarily what camera it's shot on but how professional it looks- since we are, of course, are paying to see it and it should be professionally-done, should it not?

A film, to me, is not just the merit of the story but the sum of its parts- and that includes the actual filmmaking. If it looks bad and amateur, that takes me away from it no matter how strong the content is- because the content isn't what, in entirety, makes a movie a movie. This is the exact issue and dilemma I've faced throughout film school and offered this on facebook to:

Me wrote:

that's the thing, man. some people here in film call me michael bay because i don't spend all my time on story but can produce great technical stuff. so i think he's really similar to that approach, actually.

but like i said: so you can slub off someones ability to make movies as 'technical wizardry'. i call that FILMMAKING. spending the time you've been given to make a movie dreaming up the absolute best idea doesn't matter if you can't shoot it, don't know how, and aren't willing to try.

if everything was about just the idea, we might as well all go to a workshop on writing short-stories than go to fucking film school.... Read More
And, considering the actual content anyway, I mean....come on. Do I really need to further explain this? I dunno, I shouldn't waste my breath or the annoyance on you guys; Bryce said it all, really. And did so in such a concise and obvious manner.

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Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:53am

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Xcession

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I'd agree on that front actually - the quality of the picture does matter, but its just one piece of a bigger puzzle. But its a puzzle you haven't completed, so it seems a little like you're clutching at straws to find something...anything bad about that film which you can appear authoritative about razz

As you've said though, it seems you've made your point.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 10:43am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Indeed, and now that you have made your point through what is no less than an adolescent need to weigh in on something you know absolutely nothing about I am pretty sure we don't need to tell you where we want you to put it wink

I think I mentioned earlier that I felt AntiChrist was beautiful to look at. The 'experience' created by the atmosphere of the film isn't something that can really be achieved accidentally via some form of amateur luck. Make no mistake, AntiChrist is an extremely professional production regardless of the equipment used to reach that standard.

An example of why I am right about this is: Blair Witch project looks exactly how it wants to and was for its time, an engaging and scary movie. Public Enemies looks like arse. End of story.

So to once again repeat myself, this isn't a thread for you if you are yet to see the film. Especially if you never desire to. Whilst I may disagree with Bryce's attitude - at least he's honest about his impression of a trailer/desire to watch a film without feeling the need to lurch into essaying about why his opinion is superior. To provide an analogy of what you are doing would be to say that I have told you there is a painting of a man, but provided you no other information. And for you to then narrate to me about the mans expression and setting. The mood of the brush strokes and the intricate carvings of the frame upon which it is mounted.

Stop it. You have no idea what the content is. You massive buffoon.

Anyway, That male circumcision also exists as a beneficial medical procedure and is encouraged in countries where HIV/Aids are prevalent, reducing the likelihood of catching the disease by a large amount is why I didn't initially feel it is in the same category as female circumcision although I don't agree with religion on any level, penis snippery or not.

*spoiler*

Though I didn't think that AntiChrist addressed the issue of compulsory/religious mutilation at all given that the Female circumcision is self inflicted. Women are evil, nature is satans church etc etc.

-Matt

Last edited Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 2:10pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 11:35am

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Interesting points. A teacher at school once sat us down and showed us a Lars von Trier film, and I can honestly say I didn't get it at all. It was this one. I think some of the reason I didn't get was because I missed the whole beginning (due to a dental appointment), was sitting in a warm classroom at 3 o'clock in the afternoon, and watching it on a sub-par TV. Still it made me think I wasn't yet cut-out for hardcore art-house. As such (without seeing the trailer and, like Atom, basing this on stuff I've read) I was afraid that Antichrist would just leave me confused and horrified/scarred by all the horror. I get no enjoyment from watching graphic violence and up until now not much more from art-house. I think what we might be seeing in this thread is the adults vs. the kids.

Maybe I'll see it in a few years and get back to you.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 3:01pm

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Sollthar

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I was afraid that Antichrist would just leave me confused and horrified/scarred by all the horror. I get no enjoyment from watching graphic violence
As I said, the film will leave you confused and horrified. That's it's purpose. It's not a film you go see to get enjoyment from in the strict sense of the word.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 3:22pm

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davlin

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I watched this a few nights ago and as far as I'm concerned it was an
insult to the senses.
You can high-brow as much as you like about what the directors aims were
but in reality it's just another example of pushing the boundries to another level....if you want to have porn/snuff movies filling your dvd shelves then gives this a good thumbs up ,sit back and wait.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 3:23pm

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Xcession

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Heh, another successfully insulted viewer. Trier will be laughing. Maybe. Or not. I still can't tell. Either way pushing boundaries is one of his goals.

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Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 3:26pm

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Sollthar wrote:

As I said, the film will leave you confused and horrified. That's it's purpose. It's not a film you go see to get enjoyment from in the strict sense of the word.
Yeah, I see. Still I'm concerned I'm to young. As I said, maybe I'll try to understand von Trier in a few years. wink

Xcession wrote:

Heh, another successfully insulted viewer. Trier will be laughing. Maybe. Or not. I still can't tell.
Probably, the guy is known to be a bit eccentric, right?

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Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 3:36pm

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davlin

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A good analogy for this would be a dog lover spending a fist of money to watch a dog fight......hehe.....pass me the sick bucket!
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 4:16pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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davlin wrote:

A good analogy for this would be a dog lover spending a fist of money to watch a dog fight......hehe.....pass me the sick bucket!
I am frankly, amazed that anyone could be of that opinion without already being heavily religious and readily offended. Each to their own I guess!

Though your analogy is a little ethically questionable. What insight into life, love and trust does witnessing a dog fight grant it's spectators.

Though, aren't shelves already filling up with porn/snuff movies? What with Saw 22 being released soon and all. I don't feel it fair to class AntiChrist alongside those movies.

-Matt
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 4:47pm

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:

Though, aren't shelves already filling up with porn/snuff movies? What with Saw 22 being released soon and all. I don't feel it fair to class AntiChrist alongside those movies.

-Matt
I should think not. I should also think that it takes more than a "/" to separate porn and snuff. Porn is mostly harmless, and is basically people making money off of peoples inherit desire to masturbate. Snuff as far as I've heard is people filming actual people die. That. Is. Sick.

Correct me if I'm wrong (and feel free to censor/delete my post if it's violation of forum rules).
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 4:50pm

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Sollthar

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Agreed. I find the comparison between Antichrist and "snuff" fairly out of proportion. While Antichrist does look real, feel real and feel unpleasant, it ISN'T. Snuff films are.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 5:23pm

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davlin

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you are all being rather pedantic here......you know exactly what my point is....and please don't compare silly slasher movies and with
this indepth look at human behaviour at its most appalling level.
Snuff movies btw are also about torture and inflicting serious injury
to some poor sod... the dying part ,I would suggest ,be the anti-climax.

Matt...I don't really follow your point on my dog fight analogy.

Also I'm very far from religious and I hope quite a free thinker that
does'nt like crap being called art because some pervert director wants to shake a few cages.....

Dave
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 5:33pm

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Xcession

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See I wasn't going to wade in before, but for a 'free thinker' to blanket this this film with the term 'crap', is not very free thinking at all. If all the objectionable material were cut out, or just reduced to 15-rating levels, this would still be a decent psychological horror/thriller.

And to call the director a 'pervert' seems overly strong. A film that almost shows penetration is certainly no more perverted than a regular porn film, and I think we're all adult enough to admit that everyone likes a bit of nudity. Which just leaves the mutilation scenes which were definitely unpleasant but they were harrowing, not arousing. Hes not gaining sexual gratification from showing it. And the rest of the scenes, as others have said, could be seen in 'Saw n'.

You've hidden it quite well so far, but its emotively blunt descriptions like 'crap' and 'pervert' which really suggest you're quite reactionary and not particularly free thinking at all!
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 6:20pm

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davlin

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I call free thinking not being carried along by the masses therefore perhaps your point about reactionary is correct but lets face it this is fun.


Best

Dave
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:36pm

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davlin wrote:

I call free thinking not being carried along by the masses therefore perhaps your point about reactionary is correct but lets face it this is fun.
You are half right about what freethought is.

Wikipedia wrote:

Freethought is a philosophical viewpoint that holds that opinions should be formed on the basis of science, logic, and reason, and should not be influenced by authority, tradition, or any other dogma. The cognitive application of freethought is known as freethinking, and practitioners of freethought are known as freethinkers.
While it is about not being biased, it would seem it not so much tries to not get carried along by masses, but rather: authority, tradition and dogma. This would make it seem like you have to leave your chosen belief or religion at the door when practicing freethinking. I've never given much thought to the term before. It would seem freethought is required of scientist and the writers of Fringe.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:39pm

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Atom

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I'm out of this, it's the obvious cock-sucking show where all the big dogs can agree with eachother and it's 'open debate/discussion' but someone disagrees with them and it's 'ohhhh no!!!!!! you just didn't understand it/are too young and fuming'.

Well, enough of that for me. The hypocrisy is too silly and too much to continue with- especially with ratings.

No, thank you.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 7:49pm

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Pooky

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Thanks for complying, Atom.
Posted: Fri, 9th Oct 2009, 8:41pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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davlin wrote:

I call free thinking not being carried along by the masses therefore perhaps your point about reactionary is correct but lets face it this is fun.
Agreed, and whilst I disagree with your take on the movie I'm at least receptive to it because at least you've seen the damn movie. razz

To try and explain my questioning your analogy - I was stating that nothing but visceral and cruelty comes from a dogfight. I sincerely doubt that people go to watch AntiChrist specifically for the violence or nudity given they have Hostel and Saw N as an option which both more specifically cater to that audience.

No, I would say that most people who went to see AntiChrist are us pseudo-intellectual big dog cock sucking types. Right?

Furthermore, that if you were to equivocate AntiChrist with an act like a dogfight, it raises questions about your own morality given that you yourself went to see the film and didn't see anything within it except the violence/nudity.

-Matt

p.s. I really don't see what your problem is Atom. Stay out of discussions you've chosen to exclude yourself on. It's great to have charisma and be rebellious, but sometimes when everyone disagrees with you it just means that you're wrong.

And then occasionally it means you're a savant. But not this time.
Posted: Sat, 10th Oct 2009, 9:24am

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No Respite Productions

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:



I am frankly, amazed that anyone could be of that opinion without already being heavily religious and readily offended. Each to their own I guess!
Sorry what exactly has religion got to do with his point? Just because he's looking through the smoke and mirrors and "director's artistic intent" to call a spade a spade?



Though your analogy is a little ethically questionable. What insight into life, love and trust does witnessing a dog fight grant it's spectators.
Dress it up in enough pomp and circumstance and you could make any shallow and spiteful act an insight into life, love and trust. To me this seems to be exactly what Von Trier has done. Whereas he could have created a movie to focus more on the acts of genital mutilation that are forced on many women around the world for religious purposes/defined acts of violence perpetrated by others, he uses it as a cheap shock tactic to generate word of mouth interest.


Though, aren't shelves already filling up with porn/snuff movies? What with Saw 22 being released soon and all. I don't feel it fair to class AntiChrist alongside those movies.
I completely agree, the Saw/Hostel movies are something I've lost all interest in as I'm finding torture as difficult to stomach as violent acts upon women/children these days in terms of film content. But whilst the content in Antichrist may not be quite as base, it's worth noting that at least the likes of Eli Roth are perfectly up front about what they're showing and why.

From my point of view* the director had a pretty tired plot from a pretty tired format, and had to dress it up with extravagent acts of violence to help generate and sustain any real interest in his work, which feels a little bit cheap.

*CAVEAT: Which could be about a billion miles away from the actual truth but also could also be just as close to it. Also, personal point of view and not wanting to convert anyone over to it, just wanted to give my 2p on the matter. biggrin
Posted: Sun, 11th Oct 2009, 4:29pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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No Respite Productions wrote:

Sorry what exactly has religion got to do with his point? Just because he's looking through the smoke and mirrors and "director's artistic intent" to call a spade a spade?
From experience with the subject of nudity in the past on these forums, it's always been the heavily religious who have outright condemned the subject without any real reason.

Do you disagree that heavily religious people are easily, and often unreasonably offended by the nature of content in AntiChrist? The 'spade is a spade' dichotomy is an annoyingly primitive outlook to adopt in regard to any form of art.

Plus, I mean... The film is called 'AntiChrist'.

Dress it up in enough pomp and circumstance and you could make any shallow and spiteful act an insight into life, love and trust. To me this seems to be exactly what Von Trier has done. Whereas he could have created a movie to focus more on the acts of genital mutilation that are forced on many women around the world for religious purposes/defined acts of violence perpetrated by others, he uses it as a cheap shock tactic to generate word of mouth interest.
Have you seen the film? I'm yet to understand why a shot less than 5 seconds long existing largely as I agree - a shock tactic has suddenly become the focus of the entire film. Especially considering the nature of how it happens and why.

it's worth noting that at least the likes of Eli Roth are perfectly up front about what they're showing and why.
And herein lies the problem I have with the films being compared or associated. The Hostel films are torture for the purpose of viewer entertainment, like a ghost house it is something people choose to experience because unpleasant as it is - we know it's not real.

AntiChrist is very separated from this in the same way that say, Irreversible was. And it's the fact that the situation and violence are sincerely unpleasant to witness or consider that such a fuss has kicked up over them. And granted, they may exist solely to create a reaction and attention and as Xcession mentioned, the film may have been equally as powerful without them. The atmosphere is established a long time before the first signs of violence.

-Matt

p.s. These things I write are my opinion because it was me who wrote them.
Posted: Sun, 11th Oct 2009, 9:42pm

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Bryce007

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I think it's not unreasonable to allow someone to find this film appalling based on their personal beliefs.

I also think calling someone primitive for stating their opinion, then proceeding to use " it's my opinion" as a catchall defense mechanism only a few paragraphs later is a rather odd concept.
Posted: Sun, 11th Oct 2009, 10:02pm

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No Respite Productions

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Hybrid-Halo wrote:


From experience with the subject of nudity in the past on these forums, it's always been the heavily religious who have outright condemned the subject without any real reason.

Do you disagree that heavily religious people are easily, and often unreasonably offended by the nature of content in AntiChrist? The 'spade is a spade' dichotomy is an annoyingly primitive outlook to adopt in regard to any form of art.

I'd have to say that rightly or wrongly, I try to take everyone at face value and not resort to assumptions about them. Being heavily atheistic I can still find myself easily offended with some content that the movie industry comes out with, acts of sexual violence towards women instantly put a film on the "I will not watch" list, and at the same time I know some religious people who just get on with their life and accept the world around them.

Unfortunately one man's art is another man's turd, I could spend all day espousing the brilliance of Banksy's art whilst also dismissing most other modern art as simplistic self indulgent drivel.

I'm a very grounded and down to earth person, and sometimes I hear people talk about their "art" and sometimes I don't hear genuine artistic justification for doing something, but rather an over-engineered excuse for their decisions, and to create a false sense of intelligence out of the proceedings.

Nothing primitive about it... just a different point of view.
Posted: Sun, 11th Oct 2009, 10:54pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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I always felt that being down to earth isn't something you can describe yourself as. It's something other people title you with. For example I could respond by saying that I am a very intellectually superior person, especially in regard to commenting on a directors intention with their film. But I digress...

Saying that cruelty to women instantly removes films from your 'to see' list surprises me a little. How do you feel about the odd bit of misogyny and portraying women largely as sex objects? And what about if that cruelty is either self inflicted or deserved? If you've seen the film then surely you'll know why I am asking.

You have also highlighted why the 'spade is a spade' logic is primitive in your post with "one man's art is another man's turd" - how could a spade be a spade if it is possibly a turd? smile

To finish, I agree with your comments on artistic reasoning. I am often put off art work I have previously enjoyed by hearing the artists spiel about what it symbolizes and now go to lengths to avoid the leaflets/descriptions as I believe if something is beautiful or visually interesting it should be left to the audience to draw a meaning.

AntiChrist is certainly a beautiful film - I feel few would disagree with this, able to build an atmosphere and create an experience of which myself and some others have 'enjoyed'. I appreciate this isn't for everyone - but condemning a film for less than 2% of it's content feels as crass as criticizing an ancient painting of angels because "They have their boobies out".

And even more crass when you haven't seen it.
-Matt
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:25am

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Simon K Jones

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A lot of this reaction seems to come down to some people not being familiar with the concept of films that exist for purposes other than simple, uncomplicated entertainment.

There's a general assumption that all movies have to be 'entertainment', in the purest sense of the word. When, actually, films can be whatever the hell they want to be. It can take a while to grasp that concept, though, if you've mostly been exposed to the kind of movies that work on your more satisfactory emotions.

But just because a film doesn't set out to entertain and make you feel good, doesn't automatically mean it is pretentious, arthouse trash, as some are indicating here.
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:34am

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Atom

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Please, I don't believe either of those things at all. I've tiptoed around this thread since my sign-off because in all honesty I haven't and don't intend to see this film, it looks like utter garbage to me ('disclaimer: opinion', as you all like to have it), and I don't want to block forum space.

But seeing as how this has gone, I find it imperative to say a few things:

Films are not just anything. No, they aren't. That is that.

I think films are here to present stories and, by virtue, those stories are meant to provide entertainment. Whether that entertains the sense, incites the anger, or chords at the sad and pathetic is another story- but they are there, I truly believe, as exercises in the presentation and artful orchestration of a story. A movie can leave you cold and despondent, it can raise questions without answering them, and provoke you to confusion. A movie can taunt it's audience in the worst way possible and still be a movie; a piece of entertainment if it present a story in doing so. Don't discount the opinions of people not keen on falling into Subjectivityland as being unabashed by the likes of movies that don't 'make you feel good'. Pretentious arthouse trash can and usually is just that. I see plenty of it here in film school.

'Experimental film' as it is called is something else entirely, but it is almost always by no stretch of the imagination a movie. Just as it isn't in the same sense a documentary. Movies are stories are entertainment are constructions of fiction, are they not?

What am I saying, of course they are. This shouldn't even be subjective, it's ridiculous that I even have to dance around this being just the way 'I feel'. If something is solely created to incite reaction and not actually present any bit of story or information it doesn't deserve to be put in the regard of either.

Don't get me wrong, I'm more than willing to pose something that wreaks in pretention; to myself create a film that illustrates points and invokes reactions- and oftentimes I've done just that. But I don't do it for the hell of it, I do it because I like being a storyteller and have a story to tell.

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Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:41am

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Sollthar

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atom wrote:

I'm out of this
You're a bit like Columbo. He also keeps saying he'll leave, leaves and then comes back a couple of seconds later with another question. Only Columbo knows what he's talking about. Still amusing.


Good point there Tarn. Antichrist does tell a story. It does way more convey a feeling, so it's less convential. Personally, I sympathize with people who don't want to go see it or walk out of it in shock.

It's a film that is intended to make you feel exactly like the characters inside it. And that feeling is not at all pleasant. I assume it has much to do with how people respond to being made to feel like that. Some people, like myself, kind of find that interesting, even enjoy it I might say. Others might be so appalled by how that film made them film, they'll end up hating it for it because they can't accept the negative feeling in any other way then to push them away.
There's a name for that phenomenon in psychology, but I don't recall it at the moment. I guess films like Antichrist make that very obvious.

But I don't think people who dislike the film should be talked down upon. After all, films make us feel different in lots of different ways and art lies in the eye of the beholder.

I personally liked the film, didn't think it was great or have any desire to watch it again, others I've seen it with disliked it. Both is perfectly fine.

But what the film definately is, is well made. It has some of the most stunning cinematography I've seen in a long time. A welcome change just after watching that terrible tony scott wobbly Pelham 123 for example.

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Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:43am

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Simon K Jones

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Ultimately, though, you're still commenting on a film you haven't actually seen. So I'm not sure how you can comment on the story content within (or lack thereof).

Dismissing something as 'pretentious arthouse trash' when you haven't seen it is hugely insulting to the filmmakers. As a filmmaker yourself, Atom, I'm really surprised. I doubt you'd appreciate me giving Memorial a '0' and dismissing it as "standard Atomic trash", just based on what I'd heard. You'd want me to actually watch it and then form an opinion because...well, because it's just the polite thing to do.

Fair enough if you simply said "I don't really want to see this as it doesn't sound like my kind of thing", or something along those lines, but to offer up as strong an opinion as calling it "arthouse trash" is just...strange.

I've not seen it yet, either. Hence I'm refraining from weighing in with any kind of 'opinion' on the film itself, because it'd just be silly.
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:45am

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Atom

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Sollthar: Like I said above, as this is obviously more about people who have seen the film posturing how objectivity is lost on those that don't want to- I think it's important to illustrate a few points and get a few things straight.

It doesn't make my desire to stay out of talking about AntiChrist any less genuine or valid now. Musing around like you're all better than the angsty young people who don't get it doesn't give you any points either; it just makes you look like an asshole.

Hypocritical? Not really, you can still be one to call someone one. And I've got no reservations with knowing who I am and where I stand. Here, at least.

Tarn: I use the word 'arthouse trash' because you just used it to weigh whether it was genius or the former. My point was that, if on those terms it has to be one or the other, I'll take it as trash. I do try to give all movies I have the opportunity to see a chance, truthfully. And, had I not come to the understanding that AntiChrist is more of a Pavlovian display to invoke reactions than an actual film, I probably would've seen it had I the opportunity. But things played out differently.

I'm not saying it is terrible, I'm saying it looks terrible, I've heard terrible things about it from people I trust, and don't intend to see it based on that. Hopefully my statements have enough clarity- I'm not trying to get hung up on commenting on something I haven't seen, really. I'm commenting on the very nature of what 'content' is in general. At least, based on what's been swimming around in this thread.

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Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:50am

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Sollthar

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The problem isn't that atom just doesn't want to see the film. I mean, what do I care? That's perfectly fine as far as I'm converned.

The problem is the fact he keeps repeating the same information over and over and over again to a debate that is about something completely different. wink
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:52am

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Atom

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The more and more you treat threads as if they're conversations between two snotty friends where you can speak in third person and not the communal discussions that they are; the more I'll retort.

Is that not blatantly and forums-historically-proven obviousness? If anything, you should be embarrassed for feeding the stray dog you know will come back when you don't want it to.

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Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:54am

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Sollthar

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I know, that's what makes it so hilarious. smile

Look, he's still writing something!
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 7:58am

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Atom

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You're doing this, and you know it. Not me. You are. It was inevitable, really. It's been far too long since we've hashed it out like this now, hasn't it?

Well, hey, I'm trying to discuss something I have feelings and an opinion I've spent time structuring on, you're just bullshitting to get a response- it's very similar to the difference between movies and experimental films itself; and I don't find it funny or amusing.

Just kind of.....bully-ish and juvenile. But I guess I shouldn't have expected anything less. Okay, whatever. Call me Jay-Z because I'm out.



That is, of course, at least until I decide to come back.
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 8:37am

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Sollthar

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You're right, I'm sorry. It was juvenile. But you're such an easy target sometimes it's really hard for me to resist, especially in threads like this where I frankly find you absolutely hilariously amusing. redface


But you kind of called for it.

You're like that stranger who joins a group of people talking about a specific football game, saying "I don't like football, didn't see the game." which no one's interested to hear, repeats that a couple of times despite being explicitly told no one wants to hear it, then suddenly says he'll leave, then comes back again to now talk about soccer games in general. It's just so oddly hilarious to watch this guy. And you're that guy.

The debate is about the specific football game, not wether or not you like football or wether or not you'd like that to be the subject. It isn't. Simple as that.

It might be tough to swallow to, for a change, NOT be part of a debate or NOT be able to steer the debate into waters where you feel comfortable in because no one but you wants to go there, but to simply accept that and actually leave would have been the mature thing to do about 3 pages ago.

Even the undisputed king of debate hijack Andrew Adams needs to learn to swallow that he can't control every debate.

Being that guy kind of put you on the "shoot me" list. Sorry I took the shot. oink
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 8:54am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Bryce007 wrote:

I think it's not unreasonable to allow someone to find this film appalling based on their personal beliefs.
I agree, though I was essentially asking if that was the case - as it would be important to furthering a discussion and sharing opinion. "I hated it because god says it's all wrong/because of some artistic viewpoint" make for entirely different, equally interesting discussions.

I also think calling someone primitive for stating their opinion, then proceeding to use " it's my opinion" as a catchall defense mechanism only a few paragraphs later is a rather odd concept.
Perhaps the sarcasm is lost on you. I was making fun of the "it's my opinion" catch all by reminding everyone that everything anyone ever writes or says is their opinion unless implicitly stated otherwise.

Though I apologize if I come off as a sneering elitist. I agree with Sollthar in that I can certainly understand people walking out or coming away with a negative opinion of the film. Though Tarn also raises a good point - some people don't appreciate AntiChrist because they are unused to the idea of a film being anything other than entertainment, which again sounds like I am dismissing anyone who didn't read further into AntiChrist, and I guess I am.

In any case, my only real problem is with people who haven't seen it, don't want to and who endlessly weigh in on a discussion related to elements about it. Whether or not you want to see AntiChrist is completely irrelevant to this thread and no amount of kicking and screaming is going to change that. The football analogy is spot on.

-Matt
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 3:25pm

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Fill

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Sollthar said it's a film that is meant to shock its audience with explicit material to make them think; plain and simple. I'm really not for having my stomach churn over intense images. Does this make me somehow less intelligent or willing to find a greater meaning in truth in the world? Of course not. Does this make me ignorant? Of. Course. Not. The simple fact is that I don't want to see this film.

So here's my way of thinking: I can't judge this film because I haven't seen it. I'm not going to see it. I have no idea what I'm talking about if I discuss it.

Hybrid, I don't think people- Christians would find this movie detestable for the fact that "God sees it as wrong," but more for the simple fact that Christianity is as much as a culture as a religion. As much as it may seem impossible (to me and to you), Christians have values, and this film crosses them.

Have I appealed to everyone yet?
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 3:29pm

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Sollthar

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It's fine you don't want to see it Fill. Don't go then.

Sollthar said it's a film that is meant to shock its audience with explicit material to make them think
That's not really what I said. smile

Christians have values, and this film crosses them.
Probably why the film is called "Antichrist". It does indeed digress on christian values. Which was a vital part of why I found it interesting and closer to reality then most other films. Despite the fact it ultimately ends up with some fantasy references.

But yeah. it's a tough film and no one should see it who doesn't want to. And no one's less intelligent because of that, obviously.
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 3:38pm

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Simon K Jones

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Fill wrote:

Sollthar said it's a film that is meant to shock its audience with explicit material to make them think; plain and simple. I'm really not for having my stomach churn over intense images. Does this make me somehow less intelligent or willing to find a greater meaning in truth in the world? Of course not. Does this make me ignorant? Of. Course. Not. The simple fact is that I don't want to see this film.

So here's my way of thinking: I can't judge this film because I haven't seen it. I'm not going to see it. I have no idea what I'm talking about if I discuss it.
That's all fine. In fact, that's pretty much exactly what the people that have seen the film have been saying all along: ie, it's entirely up to you whether you see it or not, just don't judge the film if you don't.

The only thing that makes someone seem unintelligent is if they don't see a film/book/play/etc, and still feel the need to judge it with pretend authority.

That's why I had to go see Transformers 2. If I hadn't seen it, I woiuldn't have had any right to moan about it as much as I have done. wink

As for God...do we know if he's watched Antichrist or not? If he hasn't, he probably shouldn't comment either. razz
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 3:45pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Tarn wrote:

The only thing that makes someone seem unintelligent is if they don't see a film/book/play/etc, and still feel the need to judge it with pretend authority.
Ding! It reminds me of the Mary Whitehouse and religious groups condemning Monty Python's the Life of Brian and having absolutely no clue about the film or it's content.

It's just silly.

And of course not wishing to see the film because of what you've heard it's disturbing doesn't make you unintelligent, it does... However, make you a bit of a chicken. Buck buck buck buckard!

-Matt
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 3:48pm

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Simon K Jones

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It's also reminiscent of Kevin Smith's Dogma, a film that was pilloried by religious groups all over the US. None of the protestors outside cinemas and studios had actually seen the film, of course. They were just going on stuff they'd heard or read elsewhere. Standard uneducated mob mentality.

Of course, if they had seen the film, or knew anything about Kevin Smith, they'd know that beneath the poo jokes it was a film about faith and that Smith is a devout Catholic.

But they didn't want the truth to get in the way of a good rant!
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 4:21pm

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davlin

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Another interesting movie "Martyrs" which I found to be powerfully disturbing yet there was something brilliant about the film that I can't really put my finger on.
I had to look up the director's name on the net.. Pascal Laugier ..sorry
if I'm not up to scratch on international film makers ...well i do know Marco....smile
Like to know your thoughts on this ...
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 4:37pm

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ben3308

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The difference with Life of Brian and Dogma is that they're both satires and comedies, with distinct intents and purposes. If AntiChrist is just horror and mutilation and good acting - and nothing else - most of the analogical comparison for 'you haven't seen it, you're a fool just like (insert religious zealot in the face of a comedy here)' go out the window.

Just something to think about - while Life of Brian and Dogma are both (relatively) complicated stories of parody and self-effacing humor, which can only be picked up through viewership of the movie - AntiChrist could be simply the sum of its parts; a sum that can therein be gathered, in part, with the knowledge of what is contained in it.

I'm not saying let's not see movies. I'll probably see AntiChrist when I get the chance (it's not playing around here). I'm just saying that you don't have to incessantly invalidate the opinions of others on the basis they haven't physically witnessed some of the events in the film. Empirically, through what many of you have said here, we've gathered that what happens in the film is without reason. Knowing this, is it unfair to argue against showing graphic violence needlessly and without narrative purpose, even if I haven't seen the violence that is used in such a way? Akin to this, do I need to watch footage of a murder to be able to speak against it being shown and promoted?

Your argument is predicated on the fact that uninformed, uneducated mob mentality is what governs the opinions of those who haven't seen the film, who are speaking in this forum - that's not true. In this instance, such a 'mob' is indeed educated of the events that unfold in the film, and knows everything about them shy of seeing them happen on screen.

I'm not as much arguing the right to argue from ignorance as I am say that most of your comparisons are insipid and ignorant themselves. Religious groups getting angry at films that were actually farcical comedies is a one-two punch to those groups, but shouldn't be to cases only mildly similar. There's a difference there.

Last edited Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 4:40pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 4:40pm

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Xcession

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If AntiChrist is just horror and mutilation and good acting - and nothing else...
Its more than that.
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 4:57pm

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Simon K Jones

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Yeah, the point is that it is all about context - both with the comedy of Life of Brian and Dogma and with the horror of Antichrist. You - and I - can't really grasp whatever that context is until we've seen it, regardless of what Hybrid/Xcession/Davlin/Sollthar have said. They weren't writing about the film to inform us precisely of its context, they were writing from the perspective of people that have seen it and don't need to go into that much detail.

That's not to say that Antichrist has legitimate context for its violence. I may well see it and decide that it is unjustified and, indeed, 'arthouse trash'. Or I might find it amazing.

Just as the aforementioned religious crazies didn't understand how humour could be used to explore faith, with Antichrist it's entirely possible that those of us who haven't seen it don't understand how it uses horror to explore other topics.

My only point, really, is that I wouldn't even think of making a decision on the film's merits or faults without having first seen it. Whether the film is a comedy or not is irrelevant.
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 5:40pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Context is indeed important. Very important. So much so that you've indicated in your post exactly why you are uneducated when it comes to the subject of AntiChrist.

You may be able to list a couple of things that happen which take up a total of less than 30 seconds in a film that lasts 109 minutes. But you won't be able to explain why or their impact on the story and it's characters. You won't be able to tell me their context.

As a result You have no basis for opinion in regard to AntiChrist and you shouldn't be making an attempt to claim otherwise. See my analogy regarding a painting for further examples. Is the idea of not having seen something putting you at a disadvantage when it comes to sharing an opinion of it completely alien to you?

You can prove me wrong by telling me what the symbolism of the fox, the bird and the deer meant to you, and how they tie in with the events/loss that has happened to the films main characters.

So out the window it is, then. Which is an expression those who have seen the film will appreciate.

-Matt
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 6:10pm

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ben3308

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My point is merely that it's weak to say you're talking about concepts that are exclusive to having seen the film. You don't need to marginalize your view and sequester yourself into a having-viewed elite to make your point known.

I suppose what I'm getting at is that knowing the mutilation events that AntiChrist depicts gives one license to talk about those events, at least with the smallest amount of liberty. The quizzing of the deer, fox, et al is cute but it proves what I'm saying even further - the discussion hasn't been about those elements at all; which means they're either purely contextual or just don't directly apply to the discussion at hand, which was indeed sexual mutilation and circumcision.

I, again, am not taking a stand to say we should talk about films without seeing them. I am, however, saying that it shows how weak your argument against this is when you prop up a straw man and pretend like the discussion thus far was about more, contextually, in the film than the mutilation bits - at its core, that's what everyone (forum goers and critics alike) is talking about, and that's the salient point. Not actually seeing these events may exempt one from contextual discussion, but it doesn't make their opinion on the matter or whether or not to show such material of any less worth. I can say "I think sexual mutilation is too graphic, and shouldn't be shown in films, AntiChrist being a prime example" and that still be a valuable opinion. It doesn't relate to the film overall, but it relates to the discussion at hand. That's what people were talking about, not the film. A forum is a venue to speak about such things, and AntiChrist affords people the ability to discuss the quandary of graphic violence in filmmaking in a pertinent thread.

Granted, the problem occurs when someone tries to pass judgment on the film and not the events that occur in such a film; which is, noted, what happened.

I know this is down to pragmatics and ethics of conversation, and not down to discussion of films, but hopefully I'm getting somewhere with what I'm saying. It may be stupid to criticize your criticism of Atom's criticism (heh) but I think it helps negotiate fluid conversation in the long run. After all, these forums are just words and arguments, and without conflict, there might never be progress. wink

EDIT:
Also, Matt, I remember having a similar discussion with you about Hostel in the chat years back, and I think we reached common ground there. If only I had used to save transcripts.... biggrin
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 9:56pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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More interesting discussion probably would have arisen, had the Adams brothers not tried to stamp their opinion onto a subject which by nature of not having seen the film, were not invited to. This thread began with "Wonder who else has seen this film" and began to go into an interesting discussion about the avenues of thought explored by the film before you crowbarred it into "No, my opinion does matter because I haven't seen the film but I read some critical responses". This was meant to be a thread consisting OF critical response.

Sadly, there is now zero opportunity of fluid conversation. You and your brother have successfully dammed[sic] the whole thing. It is of little wonder as to why I have grown apathetic in regard to discussion here. Now you've admitted that you know what you're doing is against the ethics of discussion as well as that you were wrong to try to pass judgement on a film you hadn't seen, what justification do you have for continuing to post in this thread?

Go watch it then come back and we'll see about agreeing on something. I somehow suspect that with Hostel you expressed an opinion after you watched the film which might be why I didn't get aggravated by it.

Man, if it wasn't for private chats with people who's opinion has some validity this thread would have been a total loss. And a straw man fallacy would require me to misrepresent your position, unless you have now seen the film I don't feel that's the case. I think I'm done here unless someone has something interesting to say. Davlin, I may give Martyrs a watch and let you know what I think. Thanks for mentioning.

-Matt
Posted: Mon, 12th Oct 2009, 11:38pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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OK, double posting to say I watched Martyrs, which I'll link to AntiChrist if you bear with me...

Have to say, Martyrs - not my kind of film. Veering closer to continuous and graphic extreme violence and/or torture. It's certainly a more cerebral affair than Hostel or Saw but still too close to that genre for me to really appreciate. I also sensed it was also a rehash of J-Horror concepts and characters which were done better in the original.

Maybe watching AntiChrist was a discovery that I appreciate arthouse. I keep coming back to remembering how beautiful some of the imagery in that film was. Which is something that wasn't present visually during Martyr.

Now, Davlin. I suspect you are going to say that the beauty of Martyrs is in Anna's sacrifice for Lucie and how her suffering ultimately leads her to peer into a separate existence. The questioning of reality and hallucination versus the concepts of the afterlife.

And I would tell you that was a load of rubbish. So you'd pretty much checkmate me regarding my appreciation of AntiChrist... BUT... I think a key factor in my favour is that AntiChrist would be still work atmospherically and visually without the most violent/controversial sections. As Xcession mentioned - there is serious question as to whether they are necessary at all.

Remove the violence from Hostel, Saw and Martyr and you're not left with much at all. Another similarity specifically to Hostel was the dramatic change of 'type of film' about halfway through. I'm open to discussion on that.

I'd also like to see some discussion regarding some of the less obvious elements of AntiChrist. As I mentioned earlier - The Fox, The Bird and the Deer making up part of a constellation which don't exist are perhaps a reference to something I missed? And also what are peoples thoughts on the ending? Is nature truly Satan's church?

-Matt
Posted: Tue, 13th Oct 2009, 1:51pm

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davlin

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Antichrist does have one of most beautiful and harrowing opening sequence
I've seen in a long time but when it cut to the "bouncing balls" close up
it screwed it for me:)
I still stand by my original comment on this and find it overly sadistic and if you did remove all the "nasty" bits you would end up with the equivalent of a low budget TV movie.....just think about it...if there were no harrowing shocks what could we discuss?

Yep Matt I agree if you take out violence from "Martyrs" the film would
not exist....not a lot different from the above really but the point I wanted to make was that I found there was something in that film that
left a mark on my memory that's still there though I watched it a good while ago.
I would have to watch it again to go into major discussion about it .
BTW..I love all the horror movies inc the ones you sneer at . I find them
great fun and therapeutic in these days of liberal PC brigades who would love to have us all performing like dogs in the street because there is no shame in it.....it's natural you see.smile
Dave
Posted: Tue, 13th Oct 2009, 4:33pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Hehe can you keep a secret? I thought Hostel was an okay movie. Shhhh. The first Saw was decent and relatively new in terms of cinema experiences for me as well. It's really the plethora of sequels which I dislike.

I think if Antichrist had the graphic depictions of violence removed, there would still be a story of loss, mental illness, confrontation of fear and betrayal. The film got scary for me a long time before things start to go downhill for Mr Defoe and I find the nature of the betrayal and it's increasingly revealed scale more interesting than the final confrontation it causes.

Horror is an interesting subject. Perhaps what separates those who appreciate the film despite its violence and those who feel otherwise is how affected we are by the type of horror/atmosphere the film creates. Take for example, Hideo Nakata's horror - Ringu. For me this was the single most terrifying thing I have ever watched, and yet I had friends absolutely unphased by it and furthermore, who thought it was a lousy film.

I think films like AntiChrist either grab you, after which point you're for it the whole way. Or you're just not affected or interested by the processes and scenarios it employs.

-Matt
Posted: Tue, 13th Oct 2009, 4:39pm

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Simon K Jones

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I think horror and comedy are very closely interwoven. Of all the genres, I'd say they're the ones that create the greatest disparity of subjective opinion.

I'm one of the ones that found Ringu a bit dull and decidedly unscary (although the TV bit IS brilliant). What's interesting is how comedy and horror quite often go hand in hand - check out Sam Raimi's stuff, particularly Drag Me To Hell, which manages to be hilarious while still being pretty unsettling, or American Psycho which blends funnies and nasties perfectly.
Posted: Tue, 13th Oct 2009, 5:02pm

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davlin

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btw..I have'nt a clue about the constellation scene but then there were a couple of times it went over my head.....i think
Posted: Sat, 17th Oct 2009, 12:55am

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Coureur de Bois

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Hybrid, don't feel too bad about the way this thread has progressed. I've been following it from the beginning and have been thoroughly entertained. No, I haven't seen the film yet; not because I am a little crybaby, but because I haven't made a solid effort to find out where it's showing around here.

Perhaps I shouldn't say anything yet, but the temptation is too sweet.

This is directed at any of the nay-sayers (not just Atom wink ). I don't understand why someone who has not seen this movie would zealously avoid and speak out against it. Do you really think that the imagery is too scary? Are you afraid that you are going to piss yourself or loose bowel control? Are you afraid that this movie will turn YOU into an AntiChrist? Do you lack the ability to separate yourself from the content of a FICTION movie (that as far as I know is not pretending to be anything other than fiction).

I think Hybrid is right. You are all just a little bit CHICKEN. buk buk buk.... (sorry if you're reading this Marty McFly).
Posted: Mon, 19th Oct 2009, 7:45pm

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Atom

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Rating: +2

There's an interesting posting by Roger Ebert in which Willem Dafoe talks about AntiChrist here if anyone's interested.
Posted: Tue, 20th Oct 2009, 12:41pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Cool link Atom, worth a read.

-Matt
Posted: Tue, 20th Oct 2009, 3:44pm

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Sollthar

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seconded. +1
Posted: Tue, 20th Oct 2009, 4:00pm

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Xcession

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Interesting article, but the description of Dafoe's character as "wholly evil" is just odd. Dafoe's character is just detached, nothing more. He shields himself in the rationality and analytics of his profession. Hes unwilling to appear affected in case it risks his treatment of her and is too proud to admit he cannot 'fix' her, so she is driven insane by his psychological meddling and his seeming ambivalence to their son's death. I don't see how that is 'evil'. Deeply flawed, maybe.
Posted: Wed, 21st Oct 2009, 9:21am

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Hybrid-Halo

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Xcession wrote:

Interesting article, but the description of Dafoe's character as "wholly evil" is just odd. Dafoe's character is just detached, nothing more.
Yeah, that line made me think perhaps someone had confused AntiChrist with Spiderman (The third of which was more uncomfortable to watch than AC).
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 2:32am

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Atom

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You must just be depraved, honestly. Dee-pray-ved.
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 7:38am

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Simon K Jones

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You only just figured that out about Hybrid??
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 12:14pm

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davlin

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I totally agree with Excy on this one.
Another inspired thought came to me about this movie perhaps it should be used as part of the 24hour training of the ever increasing army of
"Stress Counsellors" before they head off into an unsuspecting world. biggrin


Dave
Posted: Thu, 22nd Oct 2009, 3:14pm

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Hybrid-Halo

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Tarn wrote:

You only just figured that out about Hybrid??
Oops, yeah. It seems like this whole time I've been arguing in favour of Spiderman. AntiChrist was a load of rubbish razz

*Spoilers*


If you haven't seen AntiChrist and you're reading this you should probably know that me and your mother were doing things much more controversial than this movie last night. Don't read spoilers to films you haven't seen or your dad is next.

It's unclear as to whether Dafoe's wife is driven insane by his attempts at getting her to confront her fears or if she'd gone insane a long time before that. It's revealed that during the time she spent in Eden writing her thesis on cruelty to women she came to the conclusion that women are evil and nature is Satan's church.

Also, she saw the child going towards the window during their lovemaking and didn't make an effort to stop him. Plus the information regarding the childs feet being slightly deformed due to having his shoes on the wrong feet.

That visit to Eden seems to be the turning point for her, arguably with her listing it as a fear being a way of luring Dafoe there.


-Matt
Posted: Mon, 26th Oct 2009, 11:32pm

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Bryan M Block

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pdrg wrote:

If male circumcision isn't genital mutilation, it's hard to see what is? It's done to kids who are not sexually active or disease carriers, and done for religious/superstitious reasons. I just wanted to point out that whilst it's tempting to think of female circumcision as wrong/bizarre/foreign as it happens hundreds of miles away, we think of the Judeistic ritual circumcision as somehow different because it is closer to home and more familiar. I can't see why it should be treated differently, from a purely logical/objective position.
Well, it's not QUITE the same thing is it? The functionality of the penis is left "intact" although it may (and this is a huge "maybe") be less "sensitive"- female "circumcision" is more like castration...or like removing the head of the penis. Not QUITE the same thing...although your point is taken.
Posted: Tue, 27th Oct 2009, 2:57am

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Garrison

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Rating: +1

Bryan M Block wrote:

pdrg wrote:

If male circumcision isn't genital mutilation, it's hard to see what is? It's done to kids who are not sexually active or disease carriers, and done for religious/superstitious reasons. I just wanted to point out that whilst it's tempting to think of female circumcision as wrong/bizarre/foreign as it happens hundreds of miles away, we think of the Judeistic ritual circumcision as somehow different because it is closer to home and more familiar. I can't see why it should be treated differently, from a purely logical/objective position.
Well, it's not QUITE the same thing is it? The functionality of the penis is left "intact" although it may (and this is a huge "maybe") be less "sensitive"- female "circumcision" is more like castration...or like removing the head of the penis. Not QUITE the same thing...although your point is taken.
What about male circumcision for the reason of aerodynamics? No one ever talks about that benefit... biggrin
Posted: Tue, 27th Oct 2009, 5:18am

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Bryce007

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This thread is getting hilarious. I never thought I'd see the sentence "The functionality of the penis is left "intact" in a thread on Fxhome.
Posted: Tue, 27th Oct 2009, 8:25am

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Simon K Jones

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I like to think we're always bringing you something new, Bryce. smile
Posted: Tue, 27th Oct 2009, 5:58pm

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Pooky

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That's what she said!
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 10:41am

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Joshua Davies

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What?
Posted: Wed, 28th Oct 2009, 11:27am

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Staff Only

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schwar wrote:

What?
Not quite up to date on your memes eh, schwar?

That's what she said.

(I hope that's what you meant, I just walked into this thread without having read anything here since around page 4.)